Individualized Tutoring and Academic Remediation Creates Successful Students
We work one-on-one with students and help support an Academic Recovery Program for students who struggle academically to improve their academic success. We have created a number of Tip Sheets (see link under academic toolbox) on the value of education, college and career planning, and job applications that are used widely by our tutors, students, teachers, and others using our website resources. Our individualized tutoring creates meaningful friendships and enhances students’ success in school. We fund programs that select students who are eager to learn but need help academically. By creating a committed, positive, and safe learning environment, students who are struggling begin to ask questions and learn helpful tools that make subjects easier to understand and remember. When the students understand concepts, their retention and test-taking skills improve.
The Academic Recovery Program is offered after school in middle school classes and involves recruiting students who are at risk for failing, meeting with parents and students to sign contracts, helping fund teachers to provide course-specific tutoring, and engaging local high school students and adult volunteers as mentors.
Goofball becomes 8th Grade Valedictorian
One student, Axel, received individualized tutoring in English and was chosen to be one of three valedictorians at Graham Middle School’s graduation. Axel spoke about being a “goofball” who didn’t care about school in the 6th grade; meeting with Mr. Sayer, his social studies teacher, who encouraged him in the 7th grade; and finally becoming a turn-round student in the 8th grade. He received the Most Improved Student Award for the year.
College and career planning Tip Sheets have been created based on our years of working with young adults who are from low-income families and/or first in their families to attend college. These are used widely by our tutors, students, teachers, and others using our website resources.
Last year approximately 60 students took part in the Academic Recovery Program at Graham Middle School and the large majority increased their grades sufficiently to pass. In 2015, there were only 5 students who did not graduate and continue on to high school. This is in contrast to 30 or more students in past years.
Students become confident in their abilities and learn to advocate for higher education. They become powerful spokespersons in the community, testifying at city council and school board meetings. In addition, they become mentors to younger students.